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S&WB: Pumps working, power available ahead of possible severe weather

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

The Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans said it is preparing for potential heavy rainfall tomorrow (April 14).

The National Weather Service is forecasting a slight to enhanced risk of severe weather for the New Orleans area for much of Saturday. Forecasters are predicting 2-4 inches of rainfall with possible heavy downpours in concentrated areas.

The S&WB is encouraging residents to clear their catch basins of debris. 

On-call Drainage Pumping Station personnel will be on standby and dispatched before the rain begins, and all manned pumping stations will have operators on duty throughout the event. S&WB crews will monitor all underpass pumping stations.

The S&WB Emergency Management Team also will be on duty Saturday.

The water board said all but one of the city’s 120 drainage and constant-duty pumps are available, including all major drainage pumps capable of pumping 1,000 cubic feet of water per second or more.

The S&WB can produce enough power to run New Orleans’ drainage system. With the return of the 20 MW Turbine 5 to service last month, the S&WB said a reliable layer of redundancy was added to the power supply.

With the addition of Turbine 5, the S&WB can produce more than 54 MW of 25 Hz power. It takes about 52 MW to run New Orleans entire 25 Hz drainage system at full go.

The Department of Public Works has suspended parking restrictions on neutral grounds due to the possibility of street flooding. Starting Friday at 8 p.m. tonight until Saturday at 8 p.m., residents are allowed to park on the neutral ground and sidewalks as long as vehicles don't block intersections, streetcar tracks or travel lanes.  

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